Thursday, January 5, 2012

Legacy Fast food is in the throes of drive-thru Darwinism

Times they are a changing as the song goes.  Regular readers of this blog understand the rapid currents of growth taking place within the grocerant niche filled with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food.  Part of that niche includes QSR’s, however that seems to be the one sub-sector struggling with repositioning while attracting new consumers.

Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angles Times wrote the following which all of my regular readers will enjoy
“Fast-food eateries are in the throes of drive-through Darwinism as more upscale upstarts, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread Co., grab market share from the likes of Taco Bell, Subway and Wendy's.

Chains that are fancier than fast-food options but cheaper than sit-down alternatives are part of a hybrid sector known as fast-casual that is maturing into one of the food industry's strongest.

That category is tapping into growing demand for more healthful, specialty foods that are still speedily served and moderately priced. Fast-casual is steadily poaching fast-food customers looking for better quality and sit-down diners seeking cheaper prices, said NPD analyst Bonnie Riggs.

"There's no end in sight to their growth," Riggs said. "They've delivered on consumers' value expectations far more than most fast-food places." …

But the boundaries are blurring. Eateries such as Carl's Jr., with its Six Dollar Burger, and foodie-favorite In-N-Out straddle the line between fast-casual and fast food. Drive-throughs are appearing at Panera locations. Some fast-casual chains are experimenting with delivery, usually an option provided by sit-down restaurants.

"We're going to continue to see more fuzziness in how to define these restaurants," said Robert L. Sandelman, chief executive of food service research group Sandelman & Associates.”  Folks let’s face it this is the GROCERANT NICHE.  Want to get caught up on the niche read some of our pervious blogs. 

Outside eyes can deliver top line sales and bottom line profits.  Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Johnson, or


  1. Thank you for sharing. Mr. Johnson why are legacy QSR’s so slow at changing? This is my favorite blog; you have talked a lot about Sun Capital restaurants. Will any of them regain profitability and growth again or are they simply a case study on what not too do?

  2. Thank you for following my blog. The niche is large and we try to showcase many views. Success does leave clues. I'm sure that one, or two of Sun's chains will.